Who We Are
The American Psychological Association was founded in 1892 with 31 members and grew quickly after World War II. Today, APA has more than 134,000 members and 54 divisions in subfields of psychology. We aspire to excel as a valuable, effective and influential organization advancing psychology as a science. Our strategic goals include expanding psychology's role in advancing health and increasing recognition of psychology as a science.
APA members are doctoral-level psychologists who work in myriad settings, including academic research, private psychology practice, K-12 schools, hospitals, the armed forces, court systems, prisons, business and industry and the VA. A docotral-level psychologist holds a PhD, PsyD or EdD in psychology from a regionally accredited institution. Individuals who hold a doctorate in a related field from a regionally accredited institution may also join APA as members.
APA affiliate and associate members include psychology students, teachers of psychology and other mental health professionals. They also include psychologists who live outside of the United States and Canada.
Together, they create a rich and diverse membership poised to communicate the unique benefits psychology provides to health and wellness; advocate for the discipline to become more fully incorporated into health research and delivery systems; position psychology as the science of behavior; and increase public awareness of the benefits psychology brings to daily living.
The American Psychological Association is led by its:
Board of Directors: Oversees the association’s administrative affairs, and, with the assistance of the Finance Committee, presents an annual budget for council approval.
Council of Representatives: A large, diverse legislative body that has sole authority to set policy and appropriate APA's budget. It is composed of elected members from state/provincial/territorial psychological associations, APA divisions and the APA Board of Directors.
President: Directly elected by the membership, the president chairs both the Council of Representatives and the Board of Directors. During his or her term of office, the president performs such duties as are prescribed in the Bylaws.
Senior Staff: The Executive Management Group sets strategic direction and policy for the APA Central Office.